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A Decade After the Coup, Rival Factions Closer Than Ever

Relations are closer now than ever between the Cambodian People's Party and Funcinpec, who 10 years ago battled in the streets of Phnom Penh for control of the country.

The fighting on July 5 and July 6 ended in political dominance from the CPP, and scores dead Funcinpec soldiers and leaders.

The two parties have since buried the hatchet, and are mostly silent on the event. The opposition Sam Rainsy Party continues to commemorate the fighting as a blow to democracy.

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said Thursday the parties had agreed not to think about those days, but that without the two parties, the Khmer Rouge would still be around.

"Whatever is history, will be history, but we think about the future so we can unite to build the future," Funcinpec President Keo Puth Rasmey said.

Sam Rainsy Party Secretary-General Mu Sochua, who was once a Funcinpec minister, said the duty for Cambodians was to preserve history and culture.

"Whenever there is death, we have to have this kind of ceremony," she said.